Wave of Returning Migrant Workers Alerts Govt on New Covid-19 Strain

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto delivers an opening speech in the National Mask Campaign Movement event in the Bung Karno Sports Stadium (GBK) area, Senayan, Jakarta, Sunday, August 30, 2020. TEMPO/M Taufan Rengganis

    Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto delivers an opening speech in the National Mask Campaign Movement event in the Bung Karno Sports Stadium (GBK) area, Senayan, Jakarta, Sunday, August 30, 2020. TEMPO/M Taufan Rengganis

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister of Economics Airlangga Hartarto predicts the wave of arrivals of Indonesian migrant workers in March - May from overseas amounts to 49,682 people. He insists that a special strategy to handle the situation needs to be established to prevent the new covid-19 strain from entering the country.

    “The arrival of Indonesian migrant workers in April was 24,215 people and 25,467 in May. There needs to be a special strategy to exclusively handle this situation,” the minister wrote in Monday’s statement. 

    The latest Home Affairs Minister’s instruction, this issue will be coordinated between regional governments of Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, North Sumatra, West Nusa Tenggara, Riau Islands, West and North Kalimantan. The arrival of migrant workers will be handled by aforementioned regions by implementing strict health restrictions.

    Airlangga said that the testing so far shows that the migrant workers testing for Covid-19 is considerably high and needs to be handled correctly. 

    Moreover, the Health Ministry confirmed three new Covid-19 variants, B 117, B1352, and B1617 from the United Kingdom, South Africa, and India have been discovered in Indonesia, which most come from Indonesian migrant workers returning home from overseas.

    Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin on Monday’s virtual press conference said many of the new strains were brought by workers from Saudi Arabia, Africa, India, Malaysia, Ghana, and Congo. 

    Read: Jokowi Calls for Reforming Ecosystem of Migrant Worker Dispatch

    CAESAR AKBAR | EGI ADYATAMA